Beating the odds
Hi, I’m John Gomes. At the age of 24 I suffered a stroke and this is my story.
The year before my stroke I got married to my best friend, and then my wife and I had our first child, a beautiful son.
I was training hard in my favorite hobby, martial arts; preparing my body to fight in an Invitational only tournament for grapplers of the GTA. I was at my healthiest and in the best shape of my life. Going to work during the day and training at night. My life and health were at its best.
On May 25, 2006 everything in my life changed. I came home from work, spent time with my wife and 2 month old son, packed my training stuff, and off I went to the gym not knowing how much my life would change. How I would start the day holding my son up to view his little face with both hands and end my day barely being able to move. While at the gym training with my training partner, I got caught in a hip throw and landed the wrong way. I felt disoriented but brushed it off and continued to train for 1 hour. As I was driving home from the gym, I started to get a mild headache. When I got home, less than 5 minutes after getting there I felt extremely thirsty, overwhelming pain in my head, and weaknesses throughout my body. My wife immediately notice something was wrong and called 911. I found out I dissected the right carotid artery in my neck, which caused blood to rush to my brain, causing a stroke.
I feel my recovery is very slow. I see plateaus and peaks but nothing as I expected. I’ve tried everything from acupuncture, holistic healing, myofascial massage and most recently, besides weekly physiotherapy, botox treatment, which seems to be helping a bit.
I live my life one day at a time. I’ve been able to figure how to do pretty much everything with one hand. From cooking, cleaning, and yard